Monday, July 25, 2016


"Tea planters don't encounter much feminine company, as you can imagine -- at least, not the eligible kind. It takes a special kind of woman to make a good planter's wife. Debbie Ashton is a good example. She is independent, free-spirited, and revels in adventure. Other wives adapt best as they can. Some suffer and survive, some run away." ~ Teatime for the Firefly, by Shona Patel

Not long ago I got a message from my sister Poo saying I really needed to read a book called Teatime for the Firefly, by Shona Patel. I figured she recommended it because she knew I loved reading about other cultures, places and times. Little did I know, I was about to relive my own life, and those first days of marriage on the other side of the globe. 

Although it took place in another time and country, the main character and I had much in common.
  • Both of us were terribly sheltered and naive, having been raised in a very "homogeneous" community, where everyone lived and thought in much the same way. 
  • Both of us married guys we hadn't laid eyes on in over a year (though our relationships had deepened during that time, thanks to the introvert's gift with pen and paper) and were immediately whisked off to a place we knew nothing about, where we would be surrounded by people we had very little in common with.
  • Both of us had to grow up fast, and learn to do things such as entertaining the boss, and managing household staff who were older and knew more than we did, so tended to manage us instead. Plus, they were always there, when every introvert's worst nightmare is to be surrounded by strangers all day every day, with never a moment to oneself.
  • Both had to learn to deal with our hubby's wild bachelor friends and all their tales of adventures past.
  • Both of us learned that danger and tragedy go hand in hand with moments of breathtaking beauty, when living in an untamed place.
About six years ago I finally got around to writing down all the stories I could remember, with the help of those letters, photos, and friends, in the form of a blog called Miss Becky Goes Abroad. I figured someday the kids and grandkids might enjoy reading them. It took me at least a year to get them all down, since they covered about six years in all, in three different places, some as newlyweds and some with elementary-aged kids. Once I was finally done I just walked away, never looking back. But this awakened an urge. An urge to go back, and relive it once more.

Read the book for yourself, then click on the link above to read about my very first days of marriage, and see if you find any similarities.  I'm hoping one day Little Goober will want to read some of these stories. Maybe then he will understand why we call his grandpa Adventure Boy, and why I've already got this t-shirt stashed away, for when he's ready to do a bit of adventurin' himself!

No comments: